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Cacao or chocolate starts its lie on a farm. Chocolate is made from the seeds of a fruit which grows inside the cacao pods that have the size of a football. Such pods sprout from the trees’ branches and trunks and are harvested with a machete. After cutting the fruit open, every pod shows around 3 dozens of seeds that are arranged in a way that resembles the ear of corn.

The Fermentation Process

After harvesting the fruit, the process of developing flavor starts. White albumen is used to coat every bean inside the pod. Albumen is a kind of silky white pulp which varies in flavor from mildly citrusy to floral. The sweet pulp and beans are piled into wooden boxes where the pulp starts to ferment the beans. With this chemical process, the beans are being heated and developing flavoring. This process also kills harmful bacteria. After fermenting the beans with the pulp sloughed off, it is time to dry them in the sun and put them in bag sacks to be shipped later to chocolate manufacturers.

Making the Chocolate

Makers of chocolate in bulk with great prices will take beans either from a farmer or a wholesaler and turn cacao in chocolate through various processes. First, they roast the beans to separate the think shell from the bean and crack and tumble the beans in a winnowing machine. In this machine, the shell particles are separated from the beans. Once the beans are broken up into tiny cocoa nibs are ground down into a thick paste. This paste is processed using different machines. A number of chocolate makers make use of steel rollers while others use a ball mill. The beans are ground down further with the friction to decrease acidity and chocolate off-notes. Also, this is meant to make the chocolate liquor which is the chocolate’s base. The amount of cocoa bean used determines the chocolate’s percentage.

Making Cocoa Butter and Powder

Every bean has about 50 percent fat. After the processing the beans into chocolate liquor, a hydraulic process is used to extract fat- or cocoa butter from the liquor, leaving behind just solids or cocoa cake. Such solids become cocoa powder. This powder is added with an alkalizing agent to make Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which makes it more stable to work with in recipes which require the use of baking soda. The removed cocoa butter is made into white chocolate or sold to cosmetic companies as additions to their products.

Georgia Erin

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